Wellesley Animal Control Regulations 2012
47.1. Purpose. This section is adopted by the Town for the
control and restriction of dogs and pets within the Town.
47.2. Definitions. As used herein, the following words and
terms shall have and include the following respective meanings:
a. Dog Officer: An officer (or officers) appointed annually
by the Selectmen, who shall have all powers and duties conferred upon dog
officers by Sections 136A through 175 inclusive, of Chapter 140 of the General
Laws, by the Town Bylaws, and by the Selectmen from time to time.
b. Miscreant Dog or Pet: Any dog or pet which 1) shall do
bodily injury to any person subject only to the exception contained in Section
155 of Chapter 140 of the General Laws; 2) shall have attacked, wounded, or
killed any other dog or pet; 3) not under restraint shall assault any person
(who is not his owner, keeper or member of the owner's household) peaceably
standing, walking or riding upon a public way or sidewalk; 4) shall be
determined by the Dog Officer to be a nuisance by reason of a vicious
disposition or excessive barking or other disturbance or a source of annoyance
to any sick person residing in the vicinity; 5) shall have been determined by
the Dog Officer to be living in a wild state; and further, 6) any dog which
shall not have been registered and licensed in accordance with the provisions of
Section 137 of Chapter 140 of the General Laws; and 7) any dog while on a Town
street or way, sidewalk, or tree lawn which is not under the control of its
owner, keeper, or handler and on a leash or chain having a length of not= more
than seven (7) feet, except when contained in a motor vehicle on said Town
street or way, shall be deemed a miscreant dog; or any dog while on property
owned or under the administration of the Town of Wellesley which is not under
the control of its owner, keeper or handler and/or not in compliance with any
regulations posted thereon by the person or person(s) having authority or
administration of said property, shall be deemed a miscreant dog; 8) any dog
upon the premises of anyone other than the owner or keeper without the knowledge
and permission of the owner or occupant of such premises.
c. Pet: Any domesticated animal not including live stock or
fowl which is commonly housed within or upon the owner's or keeper's premises.
d. Restraint: Any leash, muzzle or other device of control,
the purpose of which is to restrain the dog or pet by confining it to the
premises of its owner or keeper, or by permitting it to move about only under
the direct control of its owner, keeper or member of the owner's household.
Except as otherwise provided herein all other definitions
included within Section 136A of Chapter 140 of the General Laws shall be
incorporated within this article.
47.3. Registration and License Requirements for Dogs. All
dogs within the Town shall be licensed and registered and the fees for such
license and registration shall be established by the Board of Selectmen from
time to time following a public hearing in each case.
47.4. Dog Officer. There shall be at least one dog officer
charged with the enforcement of this Article.
47.5. Policies and Procedures. The Selectmen shall from
time to time adopt and publish such policies and procedures as they deem
necessary to enforce the intent and purpose of this Article.
47.6. Female Animals in Heat. If a dog officer determines
that a female dog or pet in heat (even when confined to the premises of the
owner or keeper) is attracting other dogs or pets to the vicinity, which
conditions causes disturbance and/or damage to the neighboring property or
public areas, he may require the owner or keeper to place and keep said animal
while in heat in a kennel or to remove it from the vicinity so that the nuisance
47.7. Miscreant Dogs or Pets. If a dog officer determines
that a dog or pet is a miscreant dog or pet as defined in Section 47.2.b. the
dog officer shall order the owner or keeper of such miscreant dog or pet to
place such dog or pet under restraint and shall cause service of such order to
be made upon the owner or keeper or such dog or pet by causing a certified copy
thereof to be delivered to the owner or keeper.
47.8. Complaints. Whenever a dog officer determines that
there has been a violation of this Article, the dog officer shall seek a
complaint against the owner or keeper in accordance with the provisions of
Section 173A of Chapter 140 of the General Laws.
47.9. Violations and Penalties.
a. The failure of the owner or keeper of any dog or pet to
comply with any order of a dog officer shall be a violation of this bylaw.
b. The failure of the owner of any dog to comply with the
registration and license requirements herein shall be in violation of this
c. The failure of the owner or keeper of any dog or pet to
comply with any order of a dog officer may result in the impoundment of the dog
or pet. In the event of such impoundment the owner or keeper may obtain release
of the impounded dog or pet by (1) agreeing to restrict the dog as required by
the dog officer; (2) making all payments for pound fees. In the event of such
impoundment, a dog officer shall cause written notice thereof to be delivered to
the owner or keeper if the animal is licensed or the owner or keeper is
otherwise known to the dog officer. When any dog or pet is impounded, a written
notice shall be posted for ten (10) consecutive days on a bulletin board to be
located in the office of the dog officer, the Town Clerk or such other public
place as shall be designated by the Selectmen. The said notice shall describe
the dog or pet, the time and date of the impoundment and the approximate
location where a dog officer shall have secured the dog or pet.
d. Any violation of this article shall be punishable by a
fine of $50.00 for each offense provided, however, that each violation of
Section 47.3. Registration and License Requirements for Dogs. shall be
punishable by a fine of $25.00.
47.10. Applicability of General Law. Notwithstanding the
provisions of this Article, the Selectmen shall retain all powers conferred upon
them under the provisions of Sections 157, 160, 161, 162, 163, 167 and 168 of
Chapter 140 of the General Laws.
updated August 12, 2013 send email